Former Brazil Police Chief arrested
BRAZIL -- A former Brazil City Police Chief was arrested on felony charges Tuesday.
The Indiana State Police Criminal Investigation Division concluded an investigation into criminal allegations involving misuse of federal grant money by former Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison.
Around 4 p.m. Tuesday, Harrison, 46, Brazil, was taken into custody without incident at his mother's home and booked into the Clay County Justice Center by ISP detectives from the Putnamville Post.
Charged with one count of class B felony failure to deposit public funds and one count of class D felony official misconduct, Harrison was issued a $10,000 cash bond with 10 percent acceptable.
CCJC officials confirmed to The Brazil Times Harrison bonded out of the facility at approximately 5:45 p.m. Tuesday evening to await formal court proceedings.
The misconduct allegations surfaced during Harrison's tenure as BCPD Police Chief.
In July 2008, Harrison allegedly received $2,000 in grant money funds intended for the purpose of purchasing car safety seats for children from the Indiana University Automotive Safety Program.
The grant check was allegedly cashed by then Police Chief Harrison and ultimately never deposited into the official government accounts for the City of Brazil. The funds have since been recovered.
After being demoted from police chief to captain on Sept. 23, 2008, then again down to sergeant on Jan. 30, 2009, Harrison was terminated from the Brazil City Police Department on June 5, 2009 by the Brazil Board of Public Works and Safety.
At that time, the board cited allegations of neglect of duty, violation of rules and conduct unbecoming an officer with regard to funds received from the Indiana University School of Medicine (for the purchase of car seats), neglect of duty regarding $380 of drug buy money and neglect of duty regarding the grant check as its reasons for the termination.
Since the Clay County Prosecutor's Office notified the ISP of the allegations in May 2009, ISP Detective Brian Smith conducted the investigation into Harrison's misconduct.
Officials at the Clay County Prosecutor's Office, who also assisted with the investigation, confirmed the local prosecutor's office could not participate in the prosecution of the Harrison case due to his being a previous member of law enforcement and the potential for his being subpoenaed to testify in ongoing criminal cases as an investigative officer.
A special prosecutor was assigned to the case, Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter. Bookwalter filed the allegations and probable cause affidavit in Clay Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon and requested an arrest warrant for Harrison.
'The Brazil Times' contacted Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw regarding the case Tuesday evening. However, due to the pending legal matter, Bradshaw declined to officially comment regarding specifics of the case.
"I am pleased this is now at this point," Bradshaw said. "I would like to work toward retrieving another grant for car seats to ensure the safety of children. I would like to thank the ISP for conducting their investigation."